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TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings

The Capitals finish on top, the Flyers rise while the Flames fall in the season's final edition of the TSN.ca NHL Power Rankings.

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Updated April 12

This Week1Last Week1Washington Capitals 54-15-13

Averaging more than half-a-goal per game better than anyone else in the league, the Capitals are the high-octane favourites entering the postseason. It's certainly not easy projecting Jose Theodore as a Stanley Cup-winning goaltender, but the Caps do have Semyon Varlamov in reserve and the roster has been bolstered this year with grit that it didn't necessarily have in abundance in years past.
Key Injuries: None.

This Week2Last Week3San Jose Sharks 51-20-11

One regulation loss in the final ten games secured top spot in the West for the Sharks, but no one is particularly impressed by regular season results by now from a team that has recorded at least 99 regular season points in six straight seasons. While Dany Heatley certainly offers some change from past years, it's the guys lower on the depth chart -- Manny Malhotra, Scott Nichol and top prospect Logan Couture -- who also have to make a difference.
Key Injuries: None.

This Week3Last Week5Chicago Blackhawks 52-22-8

No regulation losses in the final seven games of the season, with Antti Niemi in goal, has the Blackhawks entering the playoffs in decent shape, especially when considering the injuries on their blueline. That's due, in part, to the relatively smooth transition of Dustin Byfuglien (1 G, 4 A, plus-7 in last 6 GP) back to the blueline.
Key Injuries: D Kim Johnsson (concussion), D Brian Campbell (ribs).

This Week4Last Week4Detroit Red Wings 44-24-14

Just one regulation loss in the last 16 games makes the Red Wings quite possibly the most ridiculous lower seed in the history of the first round. Injuries and possibly some complacency from a team that has played into June the last couple of years had the Wings battling for a playoff spot until the last month or so, at which point it just became a matter of finding out which team would get stuck with the Wings in Round One. Congratulations, Phoenix!
Key Injuries: None.

This Week5Last Week2Vancouver Canucks 49-28-5

It's a tad troubling that the Canucks have so many nagging injuries on the blueline right now, but if Willie Mitchell is the only one out of the lineup (as he has been for the second half of the season), then the Canucks have a team capable of going further than they did last season, but a lot of that is going to fall on G Roberto Luongo who, despite winning 40 games, posted the worst goals against average (2.57) and save percentage (.913) of his four seasons in Vancouver.
Key Injuries: D Willie Mitchell (concussion).

This Week6Last Week6New Jersey Devils 48-27-7

There's lots of experience, G Martin Brodeur has allowed one goal or fewer in six of his last seven starts, the lineup has been bolstered by the late-season return of D Paul Martin and the forwards are (at least theoretically) a more dangerous group with LW Ilya Kovalchuk in the fold, but for all the assets, the Devils have won 13 of 27 games since acquiring Kovalchuk and that's not exactly the picture of dominance heading into the postseason.
Key Injuries: None.

This Week7Last Week9Buffalo Sabres 45-27-10

Potentially missing three top six forwards, the Sabres may really need AHL Rookie of the Year Tyler Ennis to make an impact in the playoffs. With Vezina Trophy favourite Ryan Miller in goal, the Sabres have a shot in just about any series, but with their lineup at less than full strength, they could also be ripe for an upset.
Key Injuries: C Tim Connolly (foot), RW Drew Stafford (concussion), LW Jochen Hecht (upper body).

This Week8Last Week7Phoenix Coyotes 50-27-7

Went 13-3-2 since the trade deadline, to secure home-ice advantage in Round One, but there were only six regulation wins in those 18 games, so the record isn't nearly as dominant as it sounds and makes the Coyotes decided underdogs against the surging Red Wings. Not exactly the kind of reward they deserve for this breakthrough season, but if they knock off the perenially-powerful Wings, then they'll finally get some respect.
Key Injuries: RW Scottie Upshall (knee).

This Week9Last Week8Los Angeles Kings 46-27-9

No regulation losses (though just two regulation wins) in the last seven, the Kings are playing with house money to some degree; while getting to the playoffs isn't necessarily ahead of schedule, expectations are still modest for a young team on the rise. They have a Norris Trophy candidate on the blueline and an interesting enough mix of forwards that they could pose problems for the Canucks in Round One.
Key Injuries: None.

This Week10Last Week10Pittsburgh Penguins 47-28-7

Can the defending champions flip the switch now that the postseason has arrived? They've gone 7-6-3 since Matt Cooke laid out Boston's Marc Savard on March 7 and that lack of consistency, combined with mediocre seasons from G Marc-Andre Fleury (his .905 save percentage was his lowest since 2005-2006) and C Evgeni Malkin (admittedly, it's nice to be considered mediocre with 77 points in 67 games) has the Pens a step behind last year's championship form.
Key Injuries: LW Chris Kunitz (shoulder).

This Week11Last Week11Montreal Canadiens 39-33-10

Managed to reach the playoffs, despite going 3-4-4 in the last 11 games, and their just reward is a date with the Capitals, where the Canadiens aren't expected to be much more than a speed bump for the league's most explosive offence. Of course, if Jaroslav Halak is on his game (he was 9-0-1 in games in which he made at least 35 saves this season), perhaps he can give Montreal a chance to at least be competitive in Round One.
Key Injuries: None.

This Week12Last Week12Boston Bruins 39-30-13

Finished 9-4-1 to reach the playoffs; rallying despite the loss of leading playmaker Marc Savard. Now, with rookie G Tuukka Rask entering the postseason with the league's best goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.931) there is a chance that the Bruins could redeem what has been a largely disappointing season with a Round One upset, if only they can do something with a power play that is 5-for-54 (9.3%) since Savard was injured.
Key Injuries: C Marc Savard (concussion), D Andrew Ference (groin), D Dennis Seidenberg (forearm).

This Week13Last Week13Nashville Predators 47-29-6

11-3-1 in the last 15 games, the Predators only have five regulation wins in that span so, much like Phoenix, the late-season record isn't quite as dominant as it might suggest. Nevertheless, the Predators can roll four lines, don't get shortchanged by their goaltending and, if they could jumpstart a power play that is 2-for-36 (5.6%) in the last 14 games, they could give the Blackhawks all they want in the first round.
Key Injuries: D Denis Grebeshkov (testicles).

This Week14Last Week14Colorado Avalanche 43-30-9

Colorado's last regulation win came on March 16, yet they still made it into the playoffs despite a 3-7-3 record down the stretch. Given the expectations entering the season, it's still a monumentally successful season, but it would be even better for long-term development if they could at least put up a fight against the Sharks.
Key Injuries: RW Peter Mueller (concussion).

This Week15Last Week16New York Rangers 38-33-11

It's tough to miss the playoffs on the results of a shootout, but after getting outshot 47-27, it's not like the Rangers can claim they deserved a better fate in Sunday's must-win game at Philadelphia. It's such a strangely mismatched roster, with overpaid underperforming veterans on one side and improving young players on the other and the Blueshirts haven't quite figured out how to make that work. Having fewer overpaid underperformers is, generally, a good start.

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